Thursday, September 17, 2015

Join me over at overflowingshelf.comf!

(Originally posted at - Please join me there!)

It has been awhile since I have taking up the pen - well, keyboard - here at Overflowing Shelf. A lot of factors have been the cause of this over the years, but I'm at the point in my life where I can get back to blogging.

When I first started Overflowing Shelf in 2010 over on Blogspot, I was at a completely different point in my life. I was just about to graduate high school and ready to move onto the next stage of my life at Boston University.

Fast-forward five years (really FIVE?!?) and so much has changed. I've been out of college for over a year and working full-time doing public relations at an agency I love in a city I love.

Over the years, I have had less time to spend writing here. Overflowing Shelf got pushed aside as an afterthought amidst papers, multiple jobs, college hockey games, and even *gasp* naps.

While I've had a great time over the last five years. Something has been missing.
And that something is this blog.

I miss sharing my opinions on books I have read with others. I miss the community of other book-loving people. I miss gushing about the books I love and forcing them on other people. I even miss the drama in the blogosphere.

It's time to start up again. Set realistic expectations for myself. Slowly fall back into my old blogger habits.

I can't promise much right away as I know me. It will take time for me to have a lot of content on this blog. And that's okay! I need to remember that and continue telling myself that. It's okay to take it slow.

To my readers, old and new alike, hello! I hope you will join me on this journey as I start to get Overflowing Shelf back up and running again.

So please join me over at
Dani (2)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Art of Lainey by Paula Stokes

The Art of Lainey
Paula Stokes
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 9780062238429

Rating: 5 Stars

The Art of Lainey was one of those books that had been on my radar for a long time, but I never had a reason or excuse to read it, as other books always ended up getting in the way. One night, I needed a fun, light-heart, cute read to distract my mind from focusing more serious matters, and Gail over at Ticket to Anywhere suggested Lainey and it was the perfect fit.

The concept of The Art of Lainey is relatively simple, but that simplicity is part of its charm. Lainey Mitchell planned on spending the summer with her perfect boyfriend Jason, until he suddenly dumps her in the middle of her family’s coffee shop. Lainey does what any teenager would do — uses her copy of The Art of War by Sun Tzu to come up with a fool-proof plan to win her boyfriend back. Using her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous, what could possibly go wrong?

Going into this book, you know how it is going to end. The formula of the plot is one that has appeared many times, but it’s the journey of getting to that ending that makes the Art of Lainey so much fun. The slow trajectory of Lainey and Micah’s relationship was perfect. Paula Stokes did a great job building up their feelings; the arc of their relationship really tugged on my heartstrings. Micah and Lainey gave me so many feels. Their banter was perfect and they just worked together. And again, SO MANY FEELS. 

Watching Lainey’s grow through out the story was one of the things that I really enjoyed. When she was with Jason, she was defined by that relationship and this ideal high school romance she built up in her head. Lainey wasn’t all that likable at first, and I really, really hated her friend Kendall. While trying to win her ex back, Lainey realizes that what she had with Jason wasn’t perfect and wasn’t the person she wanted to be. Watching her come to that realization was a lot of fun and I really ended up liking Lainey as a character. 

I have to say this: Micah is my new book boyfriend. He’s a little rough around the edges, but you can’t help but fall for him, as Lainey does. You see past his mohawk and standoffishnish and get to see a genuinely good guy who really ends up caring for Lainey. I would love to see more Micahs in books and real life!

I really loved how The Art of War was the springboard for Lainey’s plan. Most people might not have ever read The Art of War, but this book does a good job showing how Sun Tzu’s ideas are one that can be applied in many, many different situations. I consider this just a fun little bonus to the plot. 

The Art of Lainey is one of those books I know I will go back and reread whenever I’m feeling down. I’ve already read it more than once, and each time I read it, I can’t help but smile. It’s the perfect quick read that will warm your heart — and sometimes that is all you need. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I'm back!

So I moved back on September 1st and decided to take a short hiatus (that turned into a longer than I expected one) to get situated. Some how two months later, and I'm still not completely set up in the new apartment. I'm still missing a couch and a bunch of book cases. But it is time that I got back into the groove of blogging.

I've been fortunate enough to read a bunch of great books on this break, which is a HUGE positive. Now I just have to go back and review the ones I have read. It might be slow going at first to get back into the swing of things, but I appreciate you standing by me and hope you will stick around as I get this thing back off the ground! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Short Hiatus

Oy. My plan to get back into blogging has hit a snag already. This month has been a bit crazy, what with a crazy roommate and moving. I move on September 1, so hopefully after that I shall be back once everything is unpacked!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Three Young Adult Authors Walk into a Book Store...and Come Out Managing a Publishing House

That's very nearly what recently happened to young adult authors Shannon DelanyJudith Graves, and Jen Murgia  except there was no book store and they don't live close enough to do much "in real life" together. "That's the great thing about technology and social media," Delany laughs. 

"This all began because I opened my mouth on Facebook and it earned me a phone call. I was toying with the idea of founding my own little publishing house and Judith Graves contacted me. After a few emails and one fateful phone call the ball was rolling!

Graves, a longtime Leap author (and a respected script writer and author with additional houses) suggested she and Delany team up and take over the SHINE e-novella line she was building through established small publisher Leap Books LLC

When owner Laurie Edwards heard about it, she suggested they take on the entire company. Not long after, Delany found herself the owner and publisher of the well-loved house with Graves as her very capable co-publisher.

But the duo knew it would take even more people to give Leap's books and authors, both old and new, the attention they needed. Delany contacted author Jennifer Murgia and asked her to come aboard as Marketing Director. With the addition of William Gee as CFO and additional team members to bolster the services they provide authors, the new Leap management team feels certain they can each focus on the things they do best. 

Readers can look forward to edgy and memorable stories filled with characters who leap off the pages. Of special note is the new e-novella line, SHINE, headed up by Graves and specializing in YA and NA. 

Authors of all YA and NA genres can submit through their agents to any of Leap's lines (submission details are HERE). And, this year to celebrate Delany's birthday in mid-October, Leap will open its doors for unagented stories for a brief period.

For now Delany suggests readers and writers alike leap into the contest running until August 8 that and says if you're serious about writing for a publisher, first give a few of their books a read.

Find Leap Books at all major online retailers and:

Enter our Rafflecopter contest to win three Leap e-books of your choice: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Trailer Tuesday: Dororthy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Everyone knows the story of the Wizard of Oz. Danielle Paige's novel offers a new twist on the classic tale. The graphics in this trailer are really cool, and I really think help to capture the darker, a bit more twisted atmosphere of the book. The voiceover does a great job of summing up the book. I liked Dorothy Must Die and I think this trailer is a good representation of the what the book is about.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne + SIGNED COPY GIVEAWAY

Midnight Thief (Midnight Thief, #1)
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Series or Standalone: Midnight Thief #1
ISBN: 9781423176381

Rating: 4 Stars

After reading Poison Dance, I couldn’t wait to read Midnight Thief. Midnight Thief did not disappoint. Livia Blackburne’s debut novel is a perfect addition to YA fantasy genre. 

I loved the world that Livia Blackburne created. The world that Kyra, Tristam and James occupy is as important as any character in the story. It’s a richly nuanced world that provides the perfect backdrop for this story. Forge is not a perfect place, its corrupt and has its fair share of issues, which makes it perfect for Kyra’s story. There is complex political atmosphere in Forge, but Blackburne makes it easy to understand everything that is happening in Forge. Blackburne has a much stronger grasp on establishing a detailed fantasy world than some veteran authors. Everything worked and the pieces fell in place perfectly within Forge which helped make the plot twists believable. 

Kyra was a great main character. She was extremely loyal to those she cared about and willing to do what it took to survive and to provide for those around her. She’s an extremely impressive thief and I loved reading about her adventures. While she does get placed in some difficult situations, I enjoyed seeing her struggle to remain true to herself and stick to her morals. I enjoyed that as the book went on, we got to learn more about Kyra and see her struggle to come to terms with who she was. Her background was a mystery to her and the reader at the beginning, but we slowly learn more about who she is. I’m excited to see her character grow even more in the second book in the series. 

Man, how wrong was I about James. He’s the focus of Poison Dance and an integral player in Midnight Thief. He really took me by surprise in this book. I did not expect his character to make the decisions that he did. He’s an extremely talented and charismatic leader of the assassin’s and I felt like he played me as well as he played everyone else. He’s extremely important to helping Kyra’s development as a character, and not because he’s “darkly attractive.” His actions are important to Kyra’s questioning of her own limits and identity. James really was such a great character, I loved the scenes with him in it. He really took me by surprise.

We also have Tristam, another character, who in many ways is the exact opposite of Kyra. Their situations in Forge couldn’t be more different, but when you threw them together, they worked. Their story lines overlapped and blended together perfectly. He’s a good ally for Kyra to have, and a deeply loyal friend and knight. He’s one of the good guys, and I’m excited to see how he deals with the incidents that occurred in this book. 

While there is romance in Midnight Thief, it does not take center stage. Romantic tensions run high in some scenes, and I enjoyed them, but was really glad that they were not the most important thing. I enjoyed that Blackburne let the relationships and the romance build throughout the book, leaving more room for it in the sequel. Sometimes, less is more in the romance department. 

The plot twist in this book was not what I was expecting. I loved every minute of reading this. Everything from the assassins, to the demon riders; it was great. The pacing was perfect, with the action scenes happening at the right times. Their were so many secrets and lies in this book that you did not know who to trust or what to expect next. The second half of the novel flew by as the story really got into its grove. I’m so excited to see what happens next.

Midnight Thief is a must read for anyone who loves fantasy. It’s a story of twists and turns set against a fabulous world. I loved reading about Kyra and her adventures and am hungry for more. I also really love that Midnight Thief is a duo logy (I’m so sick of trilogies). Fans of Kristina Cashore and Tamora Pierce should definitely pick this book up. Livia Blackburne’s debut is a solid YA fantasy that has provided the perfect groundworks for a sequel. I highly recommend you pick this one up sooner rather than later. 


Luckily, I was able to attend Livia Blackburne's Boston launch of Midnight Thief. I'm giving away a signed copy to one lucky win. Open to US residents only (sorry!) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway